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How to Help a Family Member with Severe Depression 

How to Help a Family Member with Severe Depression
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Depression doesn’t occur on its own. Everyone can face it. When a loved one is suffering, family members and friends may feel helpless and unsure of how to help a family member with severe depression.

Helping your loved one who is depressed might be difficult and challenging if you don’t know what they need. Here we will explore how to help a family member with severe depression and how you can begin to assist.

Symptoms of Depression

Many depressed individuals typically experience symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with daily activities including job, school, social interactions, or interpersonal relationships. Others could experience overall misery or unhappiness without understanding why.

Instead of being sad, children and teenagers who are depressed may act grumpy or irritated. The indications and symptoms of depression differ from person to person. They may include:

  • Sadness or feeling unhappy all the time
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports
  • Insomnia or sleeping excessively
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks require extra effort
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, focusing on past mistakes, or blaming yourself for things that are not your fault
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent mention of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide
  • Unexplained physical issues, such as back pain or headaches

How to Support a Family Member with Bipolar Disorder

Manic depression, formerly known as bipolar disorder, is a mental health illness that results in sharp mood swings, including emotional highs and lows.

Keep in mind that no one is to blame for your loved one’s despair. Although you can’t treat someone’s depression, your compassion and support might be helpful. How you can help a loved one:

1. Learn More about Depression

Your loved one might not be able to recover. But if you educate yourself on mood disorders like depression, you’ll be able to comprehend his or her state better. You can learn more about how to help a family member who is depressed. You’ll feel more in control of the situation and have more tolerance to put up with the annoying or perplexing symptoms if you educate yourself about your loved one’s disease.

2. Listen to Them Carefully

Tell your loved one that you’re interested in learning about his or her feelings. When someone wants to communicate, pay close attention while avoiding offering suggestions, judgments, or opinions. Being receptive and understanding can be a very effective healing strategy.

3. How to Deal with a Family Member with Depression

Help them unravel the mystery of their symptoms because you are more familiar with your sister, friend, brother, or father than the majority of mental health specialists. Because the area is so large and each person’s experience is so unique, asking questions is essential.

It’s likely that your friend won’t voluntarily divulge the facts you require since they are too embarrassed by their symptoms and worried about being judged. You must look for the information in order to understand what’s happening better. Here are some queries to think about:

  • When did you initially feel unwell?
  • Do you have any ideas as to what might have set it off?
  • Have you ever considered suicide?
  • Is there anything that improves your mood?
  • What worsens your mood?
  • Do you feel stressed out?

4. Help Them Identify and Cope with Sources of Stress

Stress plays a major role in depression. Chronic stress releases cortisol into the bloodstream, which inflames the neurological system as well as every other biological system. It has been demonstrated that stress decreases the brain’s natural capacity to maintain health.

Stress also disrupts constructive coping mechanisms, which increases a person’s susceptibility to mood fluctuations. Your role is to work with your loved one to identify stressors in their lives and come up with solutions.

5. Remind Them That They Are Incredibly Strong

That is what makes relationships and communication in particular, so challenging. Reminding them of their strengths is one method to encourage their rehabilitation. Give specific examples. Mention instances in their lives where they demonstrated bravery, fortitude, compassion, integrity, and endurance.

Use pictures, if you have them, of former triumphs or achievements to boost their confidence and motivate them on the road to recovery.

6. Always Try to Make Them Smile

One of the best things we can do for our health is to laugh. It can aid in our recovery from a variety of ailments. Engage them in activities so they can feel happy and forget about their sadness.

7. Let Them Know That They Are Not Alone

You won’t feel this way forever, so always tell them that. It is a straightforward assertion of fact that contains the most potent curative substance of all hope. Your hardest task as a family member is to restore hope and help your brother, father, or sister think that things will get better.

8. Encourage Sticking with Treatment

Helping someone remember to take their prescribed prescriptions and to follow appointments is important if they are receiving treatment for depression.

9. Give Positive Reinforcement

People who are depressed may harshly criticize themselves and find fault in everything they do. Remind your loved one of their strengths and how much they mean to you and other people.

10. Offer Assistance

It’s possible that your family member won’t be able to do some tasks well. Ask if there is a particular task that you could take on, or make suggestions for specific tasks that you’d be prepared to complete.

11. Help to Create a Low-stress Environment

A depressed person may feel more in control by developing a routine. Offer to create a routine for meals, medications, exercise, and sleep as well as to assist with planning household tasks.

12. Encourage Participation in Spiritual Practice

Faith, whether expressed through participation in a formal religious group or through one’s own personal spiritual practices and beliefs, is for many people a key component of getting better from depression.

13. Make Plans Together

Invite your loved one to go for a stroll with you, watch a movie with you, or engage in a past-time pastime or hobby with you. However, resist the urge to pressure the subject into taking action.

14. Be Polite and Keep Patience

After commencing medication, symptoms for some people may get better fast. Others will need much more time. So, you have to be polite and keep patience.

How to Support a Family Member with Depression

People who are sad can not be aware of or admit their depression. They could believe their sentiments are normal since they are unaware of the warning signs and symptoms of depression. Here, we will also learn how to help a family member with severe depression.

People incorrectly assume they should be able to cure their depression with effort alone because they feel humiliated about it all too often. But without treatment, depression rarely gets better and sometimes gets worse.

The person you care about may improve with the appropriate course of treatment. What you can do to help is as follows:

Inform the person of your observations and your concerns.

Describe how depression is a medical problem, not a character flaw or weakness, and how treatment can typically make it better.

Suggest contacting a professional for assistance, such as a medical doctor or a mental health specialist like a licensed counselor or psychologist.

Offer to assist in creating a list of inquiries to go over during a first consultation with a physician or mental health professional.

Set up appointments, accompany them, and attend family therapy sessions to demonstrate your readiness to assist.

How to Help a Family Member with Depression

Every person has a unique experience with depression. Take note of your loved one. Learn how depression affects your friend or family member and how to help a family member with severe depression.

Depression that is getting worse must be treated as soon as feasible. Encourage your loved one to develop a plan for what to do when signs and symptoms reach a specific threshold with the help of his or her physician or mental health practitioner.

Contact a doctor, a hospital, or emergency medical services if your loved one’s illness is severe or could be fatal.

How to Handle a Family Member with Depression

Suicide risk is higher among depressed individuals. Be ready for the chance that your loved one may feel suicidal at some time if they are really depressed. Always take suicidal conduct seriously and take action right away. Taking action if required:

Talk to the Person about Your Concern

Ask if they have ever considered trying to kill themselves or if they have any plans to do so. A real plan suggests a higher risk of suicide attempts.

Seek Help for Them

Make contact with the patient’s physician, mental health practitioner, or other medical experts. Share the situation with other family members or close friends.

Make Sure the Person is in a Safe Environment

Eliminate everything that could be utilized in a suicide attempt, if at all possible. Remove or lock up things like weapons, drugs, and firearms.

Call on Local Emergency Number

If you believe someone you know is at immediate risk of self-harm or suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number. Make sure a companion is present at all times for that person.

Hope, this article would be helpful in learn you how to help a family member with severe depression.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the primary cause of depression?

Depression can have many different causes. It has numerous triggers and a wide range of potential causes. A traumatic or stressful life event, such as a death in the family, a divorce, a sickness, a layoff, or concerns about one’s career or finances, maybe the cause of depression.

2. What is the most prominent sign of depression?

A mood illness called major depression impacts how you feel about life in general. The most typical sign of depression is a sense of helplessness or hopelessness.

3. What type of depression is the most severe?

The most severe type of depression, commonly referred to as major depression or major depressive disorder, is clinical depression. It differs from depression brought on by a loss, such as the passing of a loved one, or a medical ailment, like a thyroid issue.

4. Is there a chemical imbalance in depression?

According to research, having too much or too little of a certain brain chemical does not necessarily cause depression. Instead, there are other potential explanations for depression, such as poor mood regulation by the brain, hereditary susceptibility, and traumatic life experiences.

5. What actions can lead to depression?

Some personality qualities, such as poor self-esteem and being overly dependent, self-critical, or pessimistic, seem to enhance the chance of developing or causing depression.

6. What is a plan of action to assist someone who is depressed?

Exercise that is both aerobic (such as running or walking) and anaerobic (such as lifting weights) can help reduce the symptoms of depression.

7. What are two ways that you could help someone who is depressed?

Make a routine for meals, taking medications, getting enough rest and exercise, spending time in nature, and helping to plan home duties. Invite your loved one to go on a stroll with you, watch a movie with you, or engage in another activity such as a hobby. Never attempt to coerce someone into doing something.

8. What words of wisdom would you offer a depressed person?

Ask the person if you are unsure of how to assist them with their depression or anxiety. You might also present them with a few options and let them select the one that best suits them. You may offer to simply hang out without engaging in meaningful discussion with them.

9. What is the greatest way to deal with someone who is depressed?

Tell the person that they are not required to feel alone when they are down. Even though I don’t understand, I care. Some persons who are depressed could think that others do not comprehend what they are going through. Offer compassion and loving reassurance rather than pretending to understand.

10. What are the two primary symptoms of depression?

  • Consistently poor mood—occurs for the majority of the day, nearly every day for two weeks or more.
  • Loss of interest in activities, jobs, hobbies, and things you would ordinarily or formerly enjoy doing.

11. Which four depression levels are there?

Melancholia, psychotic, and prenatal or postnatal depression are a few examples of major depression types. You could have a mild, moderate, or severe depression diagnosis.

12. How much time does it take to recover from depression?

When a patient begins taking an effective antidepressant, they might start to notice changes in 2 weeks, however, other people might not notice a difference in their symptoms for 4–6 weeks. Before experiencing remission, some individuals may need to take antidepressants for more than a year.

13. How do you handle a family member who is mentally ill?

All family members must be able to communicate openly and honestly. For instance, don’t be hesitant to inquire about their opinions on the changes to the family from both your sick and well children. Maintaining open communication will make things easier, both at the time of a new diagnosis and long after.

14. How can I treat someone who is depressed with kindness?

All you need to do is listen carefully. A depressed person can frequently benefit greatly from just having a face-to-face conversation. Encourage the individual who is depressed to discuss their feelings, and be ready to listen without passing judgment.

15. What are the methods for enhancing mental health?

  • Make connections with others.
  • Be active physically.
  • Learn new abilities.

Image credit: Yandex.com

Also Read: Being Rejected by Someone You Love

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